Around 85 million people speak Italian including the 59 million inhabitants of Italy itself and around half a million citizens of Switzerland, where it is one of four official languages. Italian is also spoken in parts of several Balkan countries including Albania, Croatia and Slovenia, and in former Italian colonies such as Libya, Somalia and Eritrea. It can even be encountered in parts of France (Corsica and Nice) and even in tiny Monaco. Most of the population of Malta speak Italian and it is the official language of two of the world's smallest countries: San Marino and the Vatican City.

There have been many great Italian films and of course the country has a long history of opera. In fact you probably already know several Italian phrases without realising it: "nessun dorma" (none shall sleep), "la dolce vita" (the good life), "cosi fan tutte" (thus do all). Although not "o sole mio" which is actually in the Neapolitan language; in Italian that would be "il sole mio" (my sunshine). Yet the historic influence of Italian culture far surpasses music and art- after all, aspects of Italian food and society have already been absorbed into English: from pizza, spaghetti, broccoli and cappuccino to fiasco, propaganda and paparazzi. As the film director Federico Fellini once said: 'A different language is a different vision of life.'

Despite the current economic situation, according to the United Nations ranking of the worlds’ wealthiest countries, Italy is consistently ranked in the top cohort, making it an ideal country for overseas investment. And in any case, international companies are always looking for staff who can speak even a smidgen of their host country’s language- "Quindi perché non italiano?"

Levels offered: Italian

Beginners (level 1 - A1 CEFR) AVAILABLE FROM OCTOBER 2020

You have little or no prior knowledge of Italian.


You have little or no prior knowledge of Italian and you would like to make quick progress.

Post-Beginners (level 2 - A2 CEFR) AVAILABLE FROM OCTOBER 2020

You can manage Italian language in basic situations using the present tense.

Intermediate (level 3 - B1.1 CEFR) AVAILABLE FROM OCTOBER 2020

You can read and write basic Italian sentences in everyday situations using past, present and future tenses.

Upper-intermediate (level 4 - B1.2 CEFR) AVAILABLE FROM OCTOBER 2020

You can communicate in Italian in everyday situations using past, present and future tenses.

Advanced (level 5 - B2.1 CEFR) AVAILABLE FROM OCTOBER 2020

You can understand the main points of everyday spoken and written Italian and are confident in the past, present and future tenses.

Not sure which level you want? Use the ELP self-assessment grid to identify your level of competence.

Start learning right now...

Greeting: "Buongiorno" (good morning - formal)

Counting: uno, due, tre, quattro, cinque...

Useful phrase: "Vuoi ballare con me?" (informal) - (Would you like to dance with me?)

Interesting points: Since Roman times it is well known that "Tutte le strade portano a Roma" (All roads lead to Rome). Which means, essentially that there are many different ways to accomplish a goal.

Share this page:

Contact Details


t: +44 (0) 116 252 2662

Language skills on your transcript

Our language courses will be included on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) transcript.

Language degrees

Modern Languages at Leicester, part of the School of Arts, offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees combining French, Spanish and Italian with each other and with other academic subjects. We also offer degrees in translation and interpreting.

italian bottle.jpg

italian venice.jpg

italian film poster.jpg

images: Wikipedia

NEW Courses Summer 2020

Enrolments for Term 3 (April/July 2020) will open on Monday 2nd March 2020 at 12 pm

Teach at L@L

Dutch & Modern Greek language tutors required

Language at Leicester is looking for two language tutors in Dutch & Modern Greek.

If you are a Dutch or Greek native speaker, or have a near native language ability, and you are interested in this post please click here


2019-2020 Term Dates

Classes run during the University terms and take place during evenings, afternoons and Saturdays:

Term 1: Autumn term (10 weeks)

Monday 7 October – Saturday 14 December 2019

Term 2: Spring term (10 weeks)

Monday 20 January – Saturday 28 March 2020

Term 3: Summer term (10 weeks)

Monday 27 April – Saturday 4 July 2020

Summer School (2 intensive weeks)

Monday 15 – Friday 26 June 2020

Previous learners say
"I cannot really express with words my sincere thanks to you for making my dream to improve my Italian come true! Thank you! Grazie!” - Italian, intermediate